The pros and cons of keeping guinea pigs indoors or outdoors

Whether you’re a new piggy parent wondering if you should be keeping your guinea pig indoors or outdoors, or you’re a...
the pros and cons of keeping guinea pigs indoors or outdoors

Whether you’re a new piggy parent wondering if you should be keeping your guinea pig indoors or outdoors, or you’re an experienced piggy parent wondering if a change in scenery is in order, there are a few things you should know! 


The cons of keeping guinea pigs outdoors

As we know, guinea pigs are quite nervous and anxious animals, and living outdoors would not help with this!

Whether they’re afraid of the insects that might be around, or the predators that are lurking outside, all of it can be scary! The predators that could scare your guinea pigs heavily depend on where you live! 

For example, in southern California it’s common to see coyotes! In other places there may be snakes, foxes, or other animals that could prey on your guinea pig.

Guinea pigs are easily affected by weather conditions, especially those of the extreme sort. Things like changes in temperature, whether it be hot or cold, can be very jarring for them. This is especially true when it comes to colder temperatures, which can put your piggy at risk for becoming ill. 

Guinea pigs are also quite social animals, and it’s not just with their own guinea pig kind! As their piggy parent, they would also be missing out on bonding with you if they’re kept outside.

A lot of the time when it comes to the guinea pig cages or hutches that are kept outside, hay or paper shreds bedding are utilized. This kind of bedding, especially when outside, tends to not absorb enough of their urine, which can lead to the piggies fur being dirty because of it.

Maintaining hygiene is very important when it comes to keeping your guinea pigs safe and healthy, so it’s important to take this into account.

If you’d still like to keep your piggies outside, but want to use a better, softer and more absorbent liner for their hutch, use the GuineaDad Premium Liner or the GuineaDad Liner!

The pros of keeping guinea pigs outdoors

Just like other animals (including humans), most guinea pigs can benefit greatly from fresh hair and sunlight exposure! Guinea pigs are quite nosey, curious critters and being outside would be quite interesting and entertaining for them! They can observe the things going on around them outside, and they’d be constantly stimulated. 

Guinea pigs are quite communicative in that they squeak and wheek! The sound of their running on the cage bottoms can be pretty noisy as well, so it might be beneficial to keep guinea pigs outdoors if noises at night bother you and your family. Guinea pigs are active most the day, but nighttime is a particularly active time for some of them.

If your family also has indoor cats and dogs, keeping your guinea pigs outdoors as a means of separating your animals could be beneficial! Guinea pigs are naturally prey animals, and mixing cats and dogs with them indoors involves risk of endangering your piggies. 


The cons of keeping guinea pigs outdoors

There really aren’t too many cons when it comes to keeping your guinea pig indoors! Some piggy parents have complained about smell, but there are quite a few easy fixes for this.

When it comes to dealing with their urine and poop, the kind of bedding you use makes a big impact on this factor. If you’re using things like shredded paper bedding, it may not be absorbing your guinea pig’s urine enough, which means it’ll linger and sit in the cage, which can cause the appearance of odor.

Other kinds of beddings that people often use also don’t absorb urine quickly enough, or dry quickly enough. You can easily solve this issue by utilizing the GuineaDad Premium Liner or the GuineaDad Liner. Our liners are designed for ultra-absorption and are quick-drying.

The fibers that the GuineaDad Liners are made with are coated in an antibacterial agent that prevents the growth of bacteria, which means that there is no chance for odor to appear. It also means that your piggy can walk around their cage without their feet and fur being soaked in urine, which we can only imagine is uncomfortable for them.

Another plus? GuineaDad Liners are super soft, meaning that they’re gentle on your piggy’s feet, rather than the paper shreds or scratch towels that they may have been walking on before. This can be especially wonderful if your piggy suffers from bumblefoot. 

Spot cleaning is very helpful in preventing any kind of odor that you may have complaints about, but it’s important we note that a lot of the time, the odor that piggy parents complain about comes from their hay!

Hay does get everywhere naturally because of the way that piggies eat and mess with it, but one way you can reduce the amount of mess is by feeding the piggies with GuineaDad Hay Boxes and GuineaDad Hay Bars.

These both reduce the amount of mess that hay piles tend to create, but it also helps out those that may have hay allergies! The boxes and bars are also edible, so the piggies can chew on the paper or cardboard safely as well. With less hay floating around, it can reduce the amount of odor that you may encounter from hay in general. 

The pros of keeping guinea pigs outdoors

There are so many positives for keeping guinea pigs indoors. For one, you can prevent any contact with predators that reside and lurk outside. You can keep an eye on them and be sure to catch any changes that may hint at health issues that your piggies may have right away!

In a forum, one parent piggy noted that if she had kept her piggies outside, she wouldn’t have caught the medical emergencies that her piggies had in the middle of the night, and they wouldn’t still be with her today. This, of course, is an extreme case, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Keeping your piggies inside also gives you a chance to bond with your piggies in a way that you can’t really do if they’re living outdoors. GuineaDad points out that his guinea pigs wheek at him every time he comes home from work, and there’s nothing like the happiness you feel when your piggies are there to greet you at the end of a long work day! 

As we know, guinea pigs are social animals that require companionship in order to thrive, but this isn’t limited to just their own guinea pig kind. They need contact and opportunities to bond with their piggy parents as well, and it’s a win-win for everyone! 

Happy guinea pigs equal happy humans, and vice versa!

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